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Straits Settlement $10 tops $153K

Spink London’s April paper money sale featured two catalogs: that encompassing a wide-range of world paper and that of the specialist Shlomo Tepper Collection of Palestine. The grand total for the sale was $2,479,298.

Finishing at more than three times its high estimate is this portrait $10 of George V issued for Straits Settlements, dated 1 January 1931. It rose to $153,767 to dominate the sale. (Image courtesy and © Spink, London)

As was expected presale, one note ruled them all: the extraordinary Straits Settlement $10 of 1 January 1931 bearing serial: A/1 00001 (P-18a, Goon SS31X, Tan S19). This was the first George V portrait $10 to be issued for Straits Settlements, and its desirability was enhanced by a PMG 53 About Uncirculated grading. On a conservative estimate of $35,000-45,000 [£25,000-35,000], it bolted away to realize $153,767 [£108,000].

Some distance back in the field came George’s granddaughter, Elizabeth II. However, she by no means disgraced her lineage, achieving $35,881 [£25,200] with a remarkable rarity: a Southern Rhodesia £10 of 10 March 1954 (P-15b). The Spink cataloger could not find any example of this date – and its E/3 serial prefix – selling at auction over the last decade. It went to the block in a highly collectable original gVF.

The United Kingdom of Libya contributed two eagerly sought lots. Both were specimen sets in red Morocco presentation booklets trimmed with gold.

One consisted of seven specimens issued under the Law of 1951 (1955): 5 piastres (P-5s), 10 piastres (P-6s), 1/4 pound (P-7s), 1/2 pound (P-8s), 1 pound (P-9s), 5 pounds (P-10s) and 10 pounds (P-11s). It sold for $29,047 [£20,400].

Lot 522 consisted of seven specimens dated 1 January 1952 and with a vignette of King Mohamed Idris at left: 5 piastres (P-12s), 10 piastres (P-13s), 1/4 pound (P-14s), 1/2 pound (P-15s), 1 pound (P-16s), 5 pounds (P-17s) and 10 pounds (P-18s). It realized $23,920 [£16,800].

Also among the big hitters was an Imperial Bank of Persia 100 tomans issued at Isfahan and dated 28 June 1924 (P-17). It fetched $27,460 [£19,200] graded PCGS-15 Fine.

An out-of-left-field note, a Pudsey Bear Bank of Scotland polymer £5 of 17 July 2015 with serial number PUDSEY36, sold for $25,627 [£18,000] in UNC.

A premium of 20 percent has been included in all prices shown. These have been converted at a rate of 1GBP = 1.42USD.


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More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.

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